Ariana Grande is a worldwide sensation, and there are a number of reasons for this. Not only is she a prodigious talent (she started singing professionally aged just 15) she has also become famous for her impressive soprano voice. In this guide, we’re exploring how to sing like Ariana Grande, so if he is your musical idol or you just want to nail her songs in karaoke or cover versions, you can make your voice sound that extra bit more “Ariana-style”.
Grande’s albums have actually spanned quite a few musical styles, and it is fair to say that one of the strengths of each song or album she has released has been her incredible voice. The vocal control that she demonstrates is truly impressive, and the vocal range is even more impressive, Ariana can sing a lot higher and lower than her natural register. Ariana Grande has been compared to some of the best singers of recent years in R’n’B and other genres. There’s a reason why she’s such a global megastar.
Anybody who tells you that singing like Ariana Grande is easy is lying. This is a really powerful and impressive voice. As we’ve discussed, her voice spans four octaves, meaning it is one of the most impressive vocal ranges out there.
However, if your voice is also soprano, or similar, there are ways in which you can sing in a similar style. Soprano singers are very good at singing the higher notes, so if you find that your voice is quite deep then you might not excel at the same vocal range. For some, singling like Ariana isn’t totally possible.
That said, because her vocal range is so wide and impressive, there might be songs in her repertoire that are suitable for you to mimic.
The path to singing like Ariana Grande is not simple. Some of the vocal techniques she uses are a little bit more complex than you might be used to. She is the sort of singer that can do a lot of technical things with her voice, without it seeming like a struggle at any point. That doesn’t mean you should give up, but you should definitely be prepared for a challenge.
Ariana’s voice is soprano in nature, but it also extends all the way to the whistle register, which is very high, and something that not a lot of people can easily replicate. The vocal box closes up somewhat during this singing style, and this means that the vibrations are much shorter, causing the high pitch.
Because of her four-octave vocal register, Ariana can hit all the high notes, but also some deeper notes that give her vocals more of a “diva” feel.
Grande’s experience (she has been singing since she was 15 and in Broadway shows) means that she utilizes so many different vocal techniques.
Vocal runs are a big part of her singing, which means that she can not only reach many different notes but that she can do so quickly as she sings in a complex melody. This is something that wannabe Grande singers are going to have to imitate.
Ariana has also mastered the soulful singing techniques you will learn in online vocal lessons, such as vibrato. Her use of dynamics is another notable signature of her sound.
So, if you want to sound like Ariana Granda, what are the steps to take to ensure you are improving and “mimicking” this megastar’s voice?
Firstly, it is a good idea to work out what your vocal range is. Using a keyboard, you can sing the notes that don’t feel like too much of a strain. Move up and down the keyboard, pitching your voice with each key until it becomes a strain. This will tell you which octave you are comfortable singing within. If you’re not a soprano singer, it’s going to be harder to learn how to sing high notes like Ariana Grande.
Another thing you can practice using a keyboard or digital piano is to go through vocal scales quickly. Some of the most basic piano lessons can show you how to play scales, and you can mimic these with your voice. Most people know the “do re mi fa so la si do” scale system of solfege learning.
Next up is to try and work on those whistle notes. They’re a key part of Grande’s singing technique so if you really want to emulate the singer then you also need to be able to sing like this, at least to some extent.
Try closing your throat while you are singing and then pushing the air through. This should produce a sort of whistling sound, that also has a “squeaky” quality. The squeak should be a side effect of this throaty singing, rather than being what you focus on. Once you learn how to whistle like this, you can start to control it.
The vibrato technique should also be mastered. This is where you deliberately “wobble” the pitch of your voice. It’s the sort of effect you hear loads of singers implementing, especially on longer, drawn-out notes. Think “I will always love you” by Whitney Houston for the technique we’re talking about. The deliberate wobbling in pitch is soulful, and associated with a lot of female singers who have a big, powerful voice.
Ariana is also very good at riffing. To watch her live, you hear that her vocal licks and melodies may change, she is very good at improvising and “riffing” so changing the notes and keeping things interesting.
It’s fair to say that Ariana Grande always has plenty of power in her vocals when required. However, this isn’t the only tool she has. Grande is wonderful at utilizing dynamics. This means quieter sections and louder sections in the singing. Dynamics provide impact within singing, with softer sections followed by powerful, emotive singing. A lot of people refer to this as “belting” in music.
Certain tips for singing are not just about singing like someone in particular. They can help any singer to improve, no matter what the vocal range and no matter who you want to sound like.
Plus, the fundamentals of your technique are essential. If you don’t get these right then you will never be able to sing to a high standard anyway. Finding good learning materials and vocal drills to improve your technique is essential.
Some standard tips to improve any voice include:
Practice every day. Unlike playing an instrument where you would need to sit down and devote 20 minutes to practicing, singing can be done in the shower, bath, even while you are driving or out walking. There’s really no excuse for not doing some vocal drills daily.
Breathing is the number one priority for singers. If you asked singing teachers what the main thing they see people doing wrong is, I bet most of them would say breathing technique. Controlling your breathing is also good for you in general, and can allow you to stay healthier and in a better frame of mind.
Use breathing exercises, and get used to taking deep breaths. Lower your shoulders and fully relax before breathing all the way in. Some singers also like to inhale and exhale for either one or two bars at a time. Without being able to fully breathe in, there’s a chance you’re not using all the power of your diaphragm. If you want to sing like Ariana Grande, you will definitely need to learn how to do this.
Don’t forget the warm ups. This can be as simple as scales and a few vocal exercises. Like the other muscles in your body, all of those involved in singing need their chance to warm up, as do your vocal cords.
Growing your confidence is a big part of learning how to sing well. It is truly amazing how people can really tell if you are not confident, or feel tentative while you are singing. This can come through in your voice. The human brain is very good at working out whether or not someone is truly giving it their all or feeling too self-conscious. Singing is a mental game, too.
Singing in time is another key skill. If you want to get good at this, you should make a point of singing along with backing tracks, or even just a metronome to keep you counting along with the song.
While everyone should have some individuality in their voice, learning from the best singers is a great way to enhance your technique and get a bigger repertoire of songs that you can sing to a good standard. If you want to learn how to sing like Ariana Grande, getting your high-end soprano and whistle techniques nailed are absolutely essential. On top of that, gain a strong control of dynamics, with the option to sing soft verses, and belt out huge choruses with power and soul. It is easier said than done, but with practice you can get there.